LimeWire, the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file sharing platform from the early aughts, is making a comeback—but probably not in the way anyone had envisioned. On a mission to revitalize its image for a new generation, LimeWire relaunched its website on March 9, announcing plans for the platform’s return to the World Wide Web as a music-related NFT marketplace. The newly revived music platform will debut with a focus on the trading and purchasing of music-related non-fungible tokens, and exclusive components attached to music works such as merchandise and digital artwork.
Originally founded by Mark Gorton in 2000, the site garnered a reputation for its role in pirating files. In 2010, a judge’s ruling over the company’s induced copyright infringement led to LimeWire ceasing operation and a $105 million out-of-court settlement between Gorton and a myriad of major record companies. Rights to the site now belong to Austrian entrepreneur-brothers Julian and Paul Zehetmayr who purchased LimeWire’s IP in May with funds from previous startups. In this second iteration of the Java platform, LimeWire GmbH as it’s now called, is supported by a new team of founders, managers, and CEO to guide them through the pitfalls of running a startup. The platform’s advisory board includes several figures from around the music industry—Wu-Tang Clan manager Tareef Michael, former Def Jam A&R Pedro Genao, and H.E.R.’s manager Jeanine McLean-Williams, and on the crypto front: Director of Crypto Strategy for Wyre, Jamal Raees, Wyre’s founder-CEO Ioannis Giannaros, and 6 Agency co-founder Jesse Grushack.
Jeanine McLean-Williams recently said to Bloomberg that she was focused on the opportunity NFTs might provide in pushing forth more equality into music and crypto communities. “I love that the team is smart, innovative and diverse. As an African American female veteran in the entertainment business, I’m looking forward to getting more females educated about and involved in the world of NFTs.”
The new NFT marketplace is set to open later this Spring. Those interested in nabbing an exclusive LimeWire NFT “airdrop” can signup on the website to join the waitlist. But hurry, only the first 10,000 will get the drop on release day.
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